The global meltdown has affected everyone’s lives these days. All we hear are discussions on how to tackle the ever-increasing price-rise and how to survive on a fairly decent salary. But have we ever considered how people in the informal sector, especially those at the entry level, cope with these issues?

For instance, does anyone know that a cobbler in Amritsar has to pay Rs 1,000 just to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Municipal Town Planners?  And a Dhaba owner in the same city has to procure an NOC from his neighbors as well as from the departments of Municipal Town Planner (MTP), the Fire Brigade, House Tax and Water Supply and Sewerage Department before he can even apply for a license? Coming to Thiruvananthapuram, an interesting fact found is that although there is an existing plan, the renewal fees for most informal trades, and the license fees for some, depend upon the annual income of the shop!

Such details, not really known to the public, were brought to light by the Law, Liberty and Livelihood Project, a study conducted by Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) and Centre for Civil Society (CCS). The project which was aimed at documenting the livelihood regulations and entry level barriers in the informal sector was conducted in 63 cities across India with the help of young interns.

The purpose of the study aimed at unveiling laws applicable to entry-level professions like cycle-rickshaw pullers, mobile and stationery street vendors, butchers, vegetable-sellers, and to document them with the effort to create public attention to issues faced by common poor citizen of India. The data collected is uploaded on a website www.livelihoodfreedom.in.

Mr. Amit Chandra, Campaign Coordinator, CCS brief about the objective of the Study. He said, “we are releasing the study and going to start a mass mobilization activity in Jaipur to change some of the rules which restricts urban poor from earning an honest living”. Mr. M. L. Mehta, Former Chief Secretary of Rajasthan released the study. Mr. Rakesh Tripathi, Nidan, Patna, Ghanshyam Kotwani, Secretary National association of Street vendors of India (NASVI) and others were present at this occasion.

Please contact Mr. Amit Chandra at 09784258630 or amit@ccs.in for more information.